Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."

POST SHARON ERA - Program Over Personality

by Aaron Lerner

Make no mistake about it: the overwhelming majority of Israelis oppose unilateral withdrawals (less than twenty percent supported more "unilateral disengagements" in a poll conducted last month by Mina Tzemah for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs\'s Defensible Borders Project).


But in a personality rather than policy-driven decision, many of the very same people who tell pollsters that they oppose the post-election retreats Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has in mind also say they would vote for a Sharon-led Kadima Party.


And there was an underlying logic to this choice.


After all, Israel\'s survival isn\'t just based on good policy - it can also depend on critical crisis management.


It is 4:00 AM and Syria has suddenly advanced a battalion towards the border. Who do you want to be woken up to handle the crisis? Ariel Sharon, Binyamin Netanyahu or Amir Peretz?


There were a lot of Israelis who thought Sharon\'s policies were madness but
still would prefer Sharon at a fateful 4:00 AM over the others.


But with Sharon effectively off the Kadima list there simply isn\'t anyone there who enjoys this very special public confidence.


Kadima can be expected to appeal to voters to honor "Sharon\'s legacy" on election day, but it\'s not a particularly powerful appeal. Especially when the "legacy" is a policy the public opposes.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730